Chris Stapleton Reveals His Reason For Getting Sober

Chris Stapleton might have had a No. 1 hit single with “Tennessee Whiskey,” but the truth is, he doesn’t imbibes anymore. The 45-year-old says his days of drinking are over, and have been for a while.

“I like to tell people that I got into a drinking contest with myself in my 20s, and I lost,” Stapleton tells GQ, adding that drinking seemed to be a requirement for an aspiring singer-songwriter, a category he, fortunately, has eclipsed in favor of his current country music icon status.

“When you’re younger, you feel like you have to do certain things in order to occupy some of these spaces, to make yourself feel like you’re legit,” he explains. “You want to feel things. You want to be able to write about things authentically. If somebody working a different kind of job drank themselves to death in the name of being better at that job, it wouldn’t make sense to anybody. We wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, he must have been the greatest electrician who ever lived.’”

Not surprisingly, the father of five chose to quit drinking on his own, without getting any professional help.

“I didn’t have to go to rehab, but from a 45-year-old-man health perspective, a doctor’s gonna look at me and go, ‘Hey, man, probably cut out the drinking,’ and I’d be like, ‘Okay, cool,'” he says.

Stapleton laments the powers of alcohol in a song called “The Bottom,” from his upcoming Higher album, out on November 10. The record, which also includes his current Top 15 single, “White Horse,” As with all of his previous records, Higher promises to blend genres and influences, as only Stapleton can, combining his love of country, blues, soul, rock and more. It’s a mindset that has worked well for him in years past, and likely will for years to come.

“I don’t know that I would consider making a straight anything,” Stapleton says, when asked if he would ever stick to one genre. “If it was all just bedroom songs or all rockin’ songs with horse metaphors or whatever, it wouldn’t feel interesting to me. It wouldn’t feel representative of everything I enjoy or think that people want to hear.”

If there is one vein that has continued through all of his projects, beginning with his freshman Traveller, out in 2015, it’s Stapleton’s wife, Morgane.

“She’s my barometer on songs,” Stapleton boasts. “Even if your wife wasn’t heavily involved in your career, if you’re happily married and you want to stay that way, you don’t want to sing things that your wife hates.”

Stapleton just extended his All-American Road Show Tour into 2024. He will also continue touring with George Strait, on their  stadium tour into 2024. Find all of Stapleton’s music and upcoming shows, and pre-order Higher, at

Read ‘Chris Stapleton: 11 Things to Know About the Talented Singer’ here.